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INNOVATION FOR GOOD
With an IS job at Jardine Matheson after graduating from HKUST, many would think that Thomas’ career was on a steady trajectory. Not so for Thomas–his ambition for greater things and a keen interest in co-working spaces led him to work with a startup in Singapore. Shortly after, he was recruited to work at BNP, where he stayed for nearly three years before moving on to start his own venture with a friend he worked with during his BNP tenure.
Thomas and his friends applied to the Community Engagement Program (社區參與計畫) at RTHK, where they were selected to host a season of the radio show “Red White and Breakthrough.” Through this engagement, he had the opportunity to interview several HKUST startups which ignited inspiration for his own personal ambition to give back to society. One thing led to another, and in 2019 Thomas started a media company called Mema Media (名物媒體), which provided a platform for local artists to promote themselves.
Continuing with his entrepreneurial ventures, Thomas also founded charity coffee brand Cafe Kasagi, whose famous collaborators include movie conglomerate Golden Scene. Cafe Kasagi is not just any coffee brand–it’s coffee with a purpose. The beans at Cafe Kasagi are Rainforest Alliance Certified, a seal of assurance that the beans were produced using methods in alignment with the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. In addition to this, Cafe Kasagi gives back to various organizations from the proceeds of its sales. One of the organizations, Breakthrough, is a non-profit youth organization which helps cultivate and nurture the leadership qualities of Hong Kong youths. The other is Gay & Grey, a local non-profit dedicated to providing a safe and friendly space for older LGBT+ people in Hong Kong. Cafe Kasagi has also supported local designers by hiring them to design the coffee packaging art, based on Golden Scene's blockbusters “Beyond The Dream” (幻愛) and more.
On top of all of this, Thomas works full-time at the fintech company SWIFT and takes on these initiatives in his spare time. His inspiring story is a testament of how Hong Kong startup founders are not just champions of innovation, but stewards who care and give back to the community.
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